Context and Objectives

The Dominican Republic is one of the most highly exposed countries to climate-related and geophysical hazards that pose major challenges to its sustainable growth and development. It is ranked 27 out of 171 countries on the United Nations World Risk Index. Furthermore, the country has endured considerable economic and social impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result vulnerability and poverty levels have increased. Almost half of the population remains vulnerable to poverty, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could dramatically worsen these poverty indicators.

Fortunately, the Dominican Republic has gained extensive experience over the last 20 years in developing and implementing comprehensive social protection systems aimed at protecting the poor, which provide the country with the institutional framework necessary to respond to the socioeconomic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this light, the World Bank, through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), has been supporting the Government of the Dominican Republic over the last two years in designing and implementing a new Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) Strategy and framework. While this technical assistance has focused on the effects of natural hazards caused by weather and geological events, the COVID-19 crisis entailed a Government's response that has focused on the expansion of existing social programs and the creation of new emergency programs. The technical assistance was therefore adjusted to continue to support the Government’s efforts to respond to the economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Building on these activities, this project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Government of the Dominican Republic to implement an ASP system that incorporates lessons learnt from the COVID-19 crisis, and more effectively supports households and individuals to adapt, prepare for, cope with, and recover from the impact of shocks. 

Main Activities

  • Institutionalization of Adaptive Social Protection.
  • Development of ASP tools and programs.
  • Integration of poverty and vulnerability data with household disaster risk and vulnerability assessments.

Results 

Under the first component focusing on the institutionalization of an adaptive social protection framework, several technical products were developed in the frame of the government’s “Superate” Program, which was approved through an official decree, including a workplan, nine technical guides, two consistency matrixes on the design and implementation elements. In addition, 13 workshops were organized over the months of October and November 2021 for the development of the operational manual of “Superate” and to consult and validate its operational guidelines, which benefitted 12 officials, including 7 women. 

Under the second component, activities have started with the delivery in the last quarter of 2021 of a technical note to the government on recommendations for the index related to the SIUBEN (Sistema Unico de Beneficiarios) to address changes to emergency cash transfers in the Dominican Republic.

Partnerships and Coordination

This project is being implemented by the World Social Protection team, in coordination with the World Bank DRM team for the Caribbean region. Activities are coordinated with the Government of the Dominican Republic as well as the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), United Nations agencies (World Food Program and the United Nations Development Program - UNDP), and Non-Governmental Organizations (the Catholic Relief Services and ACTED). The World Bank team also works closely with the inter-agency ASP group. Members of the group include, in addition to the World Bank, the World Food Program (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).